Wolves 2 (Edwards 9, Ebanks-Blake 61)
After what seemed like an eternity, Wolves’ winless run came to an end against FA Cup quarter-finalists Millwall in front of a small but partisan crowd at The New Den.
After Dave Edwards had fired the visitors into an early lead, a superb effort from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake settled matters in a second-half that saw the Molineux men well in control with the win lifting the side out of the bottom three.
Dean Saunders made four changes from the side that had started against Watford with Stephen Ward returning in the left-back slot, Edwards in midfield and Ebanks-Blake and Jake Cassidy in attack.
Stephen Hunt, Björn Sigurdarson and Kevin Doyle dropped down to the bench whilst Jack Robinson was rested.
Millwall kicked-off attacking the end of the ground that housed around 600 travelling supporters and they were soon cheering as their side won a first minute corner. Bakary Sako’s inswinging kick almost caught David Forde out with the ball bouncing off the keeper’s body right on the line.
And the gold and black clad supporters were cheering even louder in the ninth minute as Edwards put Wolves ahead. Ward’s curling cross took a deflection off Mark Beevers on its way to Ebanks-Blake. He promptly rolled a pass to Edwards who thumped a rising drive past Forde.
Sako used his speed and strength to hold off two challenges before hooking the ball back from the by-line forcing Danny Shittu to turn the cross over his own upright at the near post.
An early injury to Benik Afobe then saw former Molineux striker Andy Keogh coming on as substitute.
Wolves were close to a second goal in the 15th minute after Chris Taylor had fouled Sako to the left of the home area. Karl Henry lifted the free-kick into the box and the ball broke to Cassidy whose low, goalbound shot was deflected behind off a defender.
Keogh’s claims that he was pushed by Kaspars Gorkss in the box were ignored by the referee. The official did have words with Forde and Ebanks-Blake after the pair were involved in a bout of pushing and shoving as they waited for a Sako corner.
When the kick was eventually taken Forde punched the ball as far as Henry and his bouncing shot was headed clear by Shittu.
Sako was booked for a clumsy challenge on Adam Smith and from Josh Wright’s free-kick Ward had to turn the ball behind when Beevers attempted to send a short cross into the six-yard box.
Carl Ikeme had to make his only real save of the half five minutes before the break as he dived to take a header from Shane Lowry on the line after a cross from Wright.
There was half a chance for Cassidy when Forde failed to gather Jamie O’Hara’ deep ball into the box. With two defenders and the keeper to contend with the young striker got in a shot which lacked power and took a deflection before it was cleared.
Just before the break, Gorkss was booked after an aerial challenge that left John Marquis in need of attention.
Half-Time: Millwall 0 Wolves 1
The home side made another change at the resumption with Nathan Tyson replacing Marquis.
Six minutes into the half Millwall just inches away from equalising. That was the distance between Keogh’s foot and the ball in front of the empty net after a low cross from Taylor.
With the game just past the hour mark, a superb effort from Ebanks-Blake saw Wanderers doubling their tally. Edwards crossed and Cassidy shielded the ball for his strike partner to get in a shot that was blocked. The ball ran to O’Hara who lobbed it back into the box for Ebanks-Blake to execute a brilliant scissors kick.
Millwall weren’t finished though and it took two attempts by Ikeme to cling on to an angled drive from Smith.
With 20 minutes remaining a double change saw Sigurdarson and Hunt taking the places of Cassidy and Sako.
As the minutes ticked away there was little to trouble Ikeme as Wolves enjoyed the bulk of possession with most of the action taking place in the Millwall half of the field.
When Millwall did get forward they found Roger Johnson and Gorkss in imperious form and they were well backed up in defence by Matt Doherty and Ward who looked to be back at his best although this was very much a team effort with every man giving it their all.
There was a chance for Shittu when Lowry’s cross ran through to him five minutes from the end, but the defender shot high over the bar.
Three minutes of stoppage time quickly passed by and the final whistle was rapturously received by the away gathering.
Millwall: Forde, Shittu (capt), Wright (Trotter 74), Marquis (Tyson 45), Lowry, Afobe (Keogh 11), Beevers, Woolford, C. Taylor, Smith, Abdou.
Unused subs: M. Taylor, Dunne, N’Guessan, Osbourne.
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Ward, Henry (capt), Johnson, Gorkss, Edwards, Cassidy (Sigurdarson 71), Ebanks-Blake, O’Hara, Sako (Hunt 71).
Unused subs: De Vries, Batth, Davis, Doyle, Foley.
Bookings: Sako (39 – foul)), Gorkss (43 – foul).
Referee: M. Russell.